Police warn drivers of 100 deadliest days

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by Andrea Lutz

KREM.com

Posted on May 26, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 4 at 12:48 PM

BOISE -- Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer for many. It is the time of year when travel increases, people plan to spend their warm nights with family and friends or even get out on the open road and take a leisurely drive.

However, this particular weekend also marks the start of the 100 deadliest days.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, Ada, Boise, and Canyon counties contain one-third of Idaho's population, but account for 39 percent of motorcycle crashes, 38 percent of aggressive crashes, 32 percent of impaired crashes, and half of all bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

40 percent of fatal crashes, according to statistics from 2012, happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“The warmer the weather gets, it seems like the alcohol starts flowing more,” said Cpl. Scott Tulleners with Idaho State Police.

The warm weather also means better road conditions, so people tend to drive faster. School is out and there is more traffic on the roads, including teen drivers.

Tulleners believes people get distracted, impaired and impatient.

“Everybody has somewhere to go," he said. "I have places to go when I am not working and I try to remind myself regardless of the traffic conditions, traffic gets backed up, we just need to be patient."

With more traffic, comes more distractions outside the car. And often this is compounded when drivers find themselves distracted by things inside the car, like cell phones and family members.

Patrol Sgt. Alan Olsen with the Eagle Police Department says it's best to simply focus on the task at hand - driving - and you'll greatly increase your chances of arriving at your destination alive.

Olsen adds that a life threatening crash takes a toll on many lives.

“It’s hard for all of us to deal with," he said. "Our jobs as first responders, we generally find out that there are things that could have been done to prevent those accidents those tragedies from happening."

Officers from Boise, Meridian, Nampa and Caldwell police departments, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, and Idaho State Police will provide extra law enforcement patrols throughout the summer.

Cpl. Tulleners hopes this year, drivers get the message.

“People always think, 'well that will never happen to me, it’s always somebody else,'" he said. "You have to remember to somebody else, you are somebody else."

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